News: Our books – introducing our five titles


Our third novel, A Forgiven Friend, is the final book in our FRIENDS trilogy.

We have now written five books together – three novels and two journalism textbooks – and the thrill, and trepidation, of sending each book into the world has always been just as intense whether it’s the first or the fifth.

It’s quite a few years since we first started writing together when we were both teaching journalism to higher education students. Me at Sheffield Hallam and Susan at Leeds Trinity. Continue reading

Our novels: Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape



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A Forsaken Friend

A Forsaken Friend

The FRIENDS trilogy continues in this heart-warming and hilarious hoot as two best friends navigate men, careers and rock bottom in this brilliant sequel to A Falling Friend.

Published by Lakewater Press.

Available to buy on Amazon.

About the book:

No-one said friendship was easy.

Things can’t get much worse for Teri Meyer. If losing her job at the university and the regular allowance from her dad’s factory isn’t bad enough, now her ex-best friend has gone and stolen her ex-husband!

Well, to hell with them all. A few weeks in the countryside at her brother’s smallholding should do the trick – and the gorgeous and god-like neighbour might help. Continue reading


That sound of rustling is Sue and me pulling off the dust sheets that have been covering this website for the last year or so.

It’s also me screwing up and throwing away the words: ‘We MUST do something about this website…’

I’ve uttered them many times over the last few months. I’ve even sat in front of the screen with the website glaring back at me with that: ‘You-don’t-love-me-anymore’ look on its face, and agreeing that I don’t actually love websites – ours included – because they take so much time and effort and I’d rather be writing than customizing and updating.

But needs must.

We’ve been quiet on the website front in much the same way we’ve been quiet on the writing-of-hugely-successful-books front (well, we think they’re hugely successful).

Excuses coming up:

  1. After a partnership of several years and the publication of three hugely successful novels (see above) our publisher announced she was closing the business. You can imagine the initial shock and the anxiety that followed. When you’ve been used to having a supportive publisher – and all that goes with it – life suddenly feels very lonely. You realise you’re going to have to live without all that support. Even though Sue and I have each other to write with, the world of books suddenly felt very big and alien.
  2. Sue and I thought that, as we’d written three hugely successful books (as above), it might be easier for us to approach new agents than it is for a writer who was completely new and facing the process for the first time. After all, we went through it all with our journalism text books – and then with our novels (the three Friends books which became known as the #Friends trilogy). We have books in print; Sue and I have been featured in newspapers and magazines; we’ve given talks throughout the North; we’ve appeared at literary festivals; and we’ve sold books and have royalties to prove it. Surely, we thought, an agent would be interested.
  3. Not a bit of it.
  4. Our hope was that an agent (see above) would have taken us up on the suggestion that we re-edit and re-launch the Friends trilogy. But how dispiriting it is – after researching the agents that handle genres and styles like ours – to send off well-thought introductory emails, synopsis and the first three chapters of a novel – to receive a ‘Thanks but no thanks’.

All that took time. We had also started editing the first book in the trilogy, A Falling Friend (AFF), because having published two further books in the series, we had learned much and realized AFF could do with a bit of tightening up. All that took time too and once it was done, we looked in detail at the other two books, A Forsaken Friend and A Forgiven Friend, and decided to give them a tweak too. You guessed it: all that took time too.

I do hope readers have stuck with this blog so far and are nodding in agreement. It takes time, doesn’t it, this writing business?

Photo by Negative Space on
  1. Then came the Big Decide. If mainstream agents and publishers didn’t want us, we would self-publish (that’ll teach ‘em). And we learned a lot too. We had to find – and then work with – a new editor. Takes time. Then someone to format the books. Takes time. Then decide where and how to self-publish. Takes research and time. Then to do the actual deed. And in between all that Sue and I were juggling real life in a time of Covid which included death, illness, new arrivals, and moving house, and much more.
  2. Oh, but the feeling of pride and achievement when we finally pressed the big red button and our books were once again in print and on sale. And it now means we can sit down and complete our fourth novel which is three-quarters written (when and how did THAT happen?)
  3. Or we could if we didn’t have to write blogs and start marketing again to re-introduce the re-launched #Friends trilogy – and update this damn website.

A Falling Friend is available to buy here

A Forsaken Friend is available to buy here

A Forgiven Friend is available to buy here

Viewpoint: Just three clicks and you’re out … of social media, that is.

Why does it take three clicks to log out of one of my particular social media accounts?

When I’ve had enough of idly dribbling my way through dozens of posts, I give myself a mental jerk and want to log out immediately. But no. I have to click on my profile; then click to select ‘Log Out’; and finally click again to actually log out.


Viewpoint: Tell me your health problems if you must. But don’t ask me to edit your family history scribblings.

Writing for a living can sometimes feel a little like being a doctor.

Imagine meeting someone from the medical profession at a social event (imagine too that we’re allowed to have social events someday soon). Aren’t you even slightly tempted to tell them about your dodgy knees or the heartburn you think might be something more serious? Or you might have read about a cure for the common cold, and you use it as a conversational gambit because you know they’ll be interested.

Viewpoint: Books and bags – two essentials that this writer can’t be without. But don’t get carried away.

I should be asking what you’re reading at the moment. I should be enquiring how you feel about the latest bestseller. I should ask you to name your top ten summer reads. I should be posting pictures of a stack of books in my TBR pile.

I could even show a little video of me teasing you as I prepare to cut open a cardboard box with a pair of scissors to reveal – WAIT FOR IT – the paperback editions of my latest novel. Continue reading

Viewpoint: No need to advise me about working from home. But thanks for the jigsaw and the keep fit video.

I wonder how many other writers, bloggers and reviewers are getting a tad fed up reading all those hints and tips about how to ‘survive working from home’.

A huge number of salary earners can no longer go to their offices so they’re forced to balance laptops on whatever table’s available, hold video conferencing calls instead of attending interminable meetings, and make their own sandwiches instead of popping into Pret’s at lunchtime. For many it’s the first time they’ve had to work like this – and sections of the media are going overboard with suggestions as to how to cope. Continue reading

Viewpoint: Ten memorable moments from the last decade


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First, a confession: this list is a steal – an idea borrowed from my friends John Jackson and Paul Smith, who recently posted similar records of achievement on Facebook.

It seemed such a lovely thing to do – so here, in no particular order, are my top ten moments from 2010-2020:

Meeting my granddaughter Iris for the first time

Sorry, I lied: this is definitely number one on my list.

Iris has enriched my life in ways I could never imagine, and it’s been an unexpected delight to watch my eldest daughter, Megan, blossom as a mum.

Travelling Down Under to visit my youngest daughter, Annie, during her gap year-and-a-half in Australia

Next time, I’ll fly business class and stay for longer than four weeks, but in all other respects, it was a wonderful holiday – although saying goodbye to Annie at the end of the trip was heart-breaking. Continue reading

News: Happy book birthday to A Forgiven Friend, final novel in our FRIENDS trilogy



Birthdays are always great fun – and there’s no fun like a book birthday.

It’s publication day for our third novel A Forgiven Friend – the final instalment in our FRIENDS series.

It continues the story of best friends Teri Meyer and Lee Harper as they juggle work, life and love – usually with a glass of wine or a cup of weak Earl Grey tea to hand. Or ‘gnat’s piss’ as Teri usually describes it.